<\body> Stories in America: October 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

This is great:
Traditionally, it’s the kids who receive sweets from the elders on Halloween, but that years-old ritual is getting a makeover this year in hundreds of communities across North America.

Anti-poverty activists say thousands of children will go door-to-door tonight handing out chocolates to adults in some 300 cities across the United States and Canada.

Their decision to turn the ritual on its head is part of an international campaign to highlight the plight of tens of thousands of children who are forced to work on cocoa plantations instead of going to school in developing countries.

Campaigners said on Halloween costumed children would fill streets to hand out samples of “Fair Trade Certified” chocolates as a reminder to local communities that there exists an alternative to traditional chocolates, which usually rely on child labor or other abusive processes abroad to grow and harvest the cocoa for their candies.

Calling their campaign “Reverse Trick-or-Treating,” activists said it would address the persistent problems of chronic poverty in cocoa-growing communities, abysmal working conditions, and the massive abuse of child labor in the West African nation of Cote d’Ivoire in particular, where 40 percent of the world’s cocoa is produced.

The campaign is sponsored by human rights advocacy groups including Global Exchange, the International Labor Rights Fund, Co-op America, and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, along with Fair Trade chocolate companies Equal Exchange, Sweet Earth, and Theo Chocolate to raise awareness among children and grown-ups about Fair Trade Certified chocolate as a solution to labor abuses in the cocoa industry.

According to Global Exchange, every year, U.S. consumers eat 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate, representing nearly half the world’s supply.

Citing a study by the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture for USAID, the group says there are currently 284,000 children who work in abusive conditions on cocoa farms in West Africa, the world’s largest cocoa producing region.

Bush's Global Gag Rule fails women

From the International Planned Parenthood Federation:
At a landmark hearing today in Washington, a former IPPF Executive Director from Ghana testified that denying women and men family planning services in developing countries increases the risk of unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and AIDS, and unsafe abortions.

Today, the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs held its first hearing in over a decade to discuss the negative impact the Global Gag Rule/Mexico City Policy – a policy the George W. Bush reinstated on his first day in office in 2001 – has had on family planning and the reproductive health of women, men and young people in developing countries. The Global Gag Rule states that no U.S. family planning assistance can be given to foreign non-governmental organizations that perform, promote, counsel or even refer women for abortion.

Joana Nequaye-Tetteh, former Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) at the time of the Global Gag Rule, testified to the dramatic impact upon people’s lives in over 20 rural communities when PPAG lost USAID funding for critical sexual and reproductive health services. New data collected by PPAG show that, following the loss of funding, there was a huge reduction in family planning and reproductive health services and a rise in unsafe abortion, largely due to the loss of contraceptive services to these communities.

Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh explained: “I personally witnessed the destructive impact the Gag Rule had on our programs and on the clients we serve. By telling the story of Planned Parenthood of Ghana I can give voice to those people most affected – women and girls – who will never have the opportunity to address American legislators who have had such a dramatic impact on their lives when they created regulations like the Gag Rule. The experience of PPAG mirrors the experience of IPPF around the world.”

Mrs Nerquaye-Tetteh went on to describe the very real effect the Gag Rule has had on the people of Ghana: “We will never know the real cost of this harmful policy; we can never know the total number of lives that have been irreversibly altered: a sexually transmitted infection or maybe even HIV that could have been prevented, a poor rural mother that could have received quality prenatal care to help her survive a pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby, a woman that could have avoided an unwanted pregnancy and therefore not sought an unsafe abortion and had to deal with its related complications.”

The Director General of IPPF, Gill Greer, said: "The Gag Rule has undermined decades of work to strengthen health systems in the developing world by reducing services and programs in so many countries. We thank the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs for taking this first step in looking into the effects this US-policy has had on the poor and marginalized women and men of the world."

Ultimately, it is hoped that the US Congress will recommend resuming the flow of U.S.-donated contraceptives to local family planning providers overseas. As Mrs. Nerquaye-Tetteh said in her concluding comments: “This will make a vast and immediate difference to the lives of women. Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana could resume community outreach programs to the rural poor – and thousands could be reached. In our experience, the increase in contraceptive provision would dramatically and directly reduce unwanted pregnancies and avert unsafe abortion – thereby saving women’s and mother’s lives.”

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today's factoid on spending

Under Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill, federal spending grew by nearly 50% between fiscal years 2001 and 2007, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. At the same time, as the president presided over repeated budget deficits, the federal debt has ballooned to about $5 trillion. Last year, the Republican Congress sent only two appropriations bills to the president.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Zebra meets dolphin

This just made my week:

In this photo and caption provided by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Beauregard, an 8-month-old male Grants zebra is greeted by Brandy, an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin while out on a daily walk around the park at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Beauregard was hand-reared at the park and takes daily strolls around the 135-acre park.
(Mike Owyang/ Six Flags Discovery Kingdom/ AP Photo )

Shock? Gap uses child labor

From abcnews.com:
Video taken by Dan McDougall, a freelance journalist in New Delhi, India, and acquired by ABC News, showed Gap labels being stitched into garments and the location of a work room in a slum.

McDougall said the children working in the sweatshop were between the ages of 10 and 13 and slept on the roof.

"There was an overflowed latrine, bowls of rice covered in flies, a lot of mosquitoes, quite a putrid smell inside the sweatshop," he said.

While Gap continues its investigation, the company said the garments made by the children never will be sold in its stores and the order has been scrapped.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dropping bombs on Baghdad

The liberal media is barely covering this, but according to unclassified data, this year U.S. air force pilots dropped munitions on Iraq more often than in the previous three years combined. So bring in 30,000 additional troops and bomb the hell out of Iraq. Civilians are obviously being hit, but that's just collateral damage.

Here's video from a recent bombing.

And this is from Slate:
On Sunday, U.S. soldiers were searching for a leader of a kidnapping ring in Baghdad's Sadr City. The soldiers came under fire from a building. Rather than engage in dangerous door-to-door conflict, they called in air support. Army helicopters flew overhead and shelled the building, killing several of the fighters but also at least six innocent civilians.* (The bad guy got away.)

In other words, though the shift means greater safety for our ground troops, it also generates more local hostility. Striking urban targets from the air inevitably means killing more innocent bystanders. This makes some of the bystanders' relatives yearn for vengeance. And it makes many Iraqis—relatives, neighbors, and others watching the news of the attack on television—less trusting of the American troops who are supposedly protecting them.

In a conventional war, these consequences might be deemed unavoidable side-effects. But in a counterinsurgency campaign, where the point is to sway the hearts and minds of the population, wreaking such damage is self-defeating.

The U.S. Army's field manual on counterinsurgency, which Gen. Petraeus supervised shortly before he returned to Iraq, makes the point explicitly:

An air strike can cause collateral damage that turns people against the host-nation government and provides insurgents with a major propaganda victory. Even when justified under the law of war, bombings that result in civilian casualties can bring media coverage that works to the insurgents' benefits. … For these reasons, commanders should consider the use of air strikes carefully during [counterinsurgency] operations, neither disregarding them outright nor employing them excessively.
Yet since the surge began and Gen. Petraeus shifted the strategy to counterinsurgency, the number of U.S. airstrikes has soared.

From January to September of this year, according to unclassified data, U.S. Air Force pilots in Iraq have flown 996 sorties that involved dropping munitions. By comparison, in all of 2006, they flew just 229 such sorties—one-quarter as many. In 2005, they flew 404; in 2004, they flew 285.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Iraqi journalists risk their lives to tell their stories

The International Women's Media Foundation recently presented a number of Iraqi women journalists with courage awards for risking their lives and their family's lives to tell their stories and give their fellow Iraqis a voice. Now more than ever, as Iraq is disappearing from the frong pages in the American media, it is important to recognize these women.

Here's the acceptance speech by Sahar Issa. Her eldest son was caught in a crossfire in late 2005; he was shot and killed instantly. Issa has also faced going to the morgue to claim the body of a nephew who was killed in a market bombing. She found his body in two pieces. Issa continues to report from McClatchy’s Baghdad bureau.

“To be a journalist in violence-ridden Iraq today, ladies and gentlemen, is not a matter lightly undertaken. Every path is strewn with danger, every checkpoint, every question a direct threat.

“Every interview we conduct may be our last. So much is happening in Iraq. So much that is questionable. So much that we, as journalists, try to fathom and portray to the people who care to know.

“In every society there is good and bad. Laws regulate the conduct of the society. My country is now lawless. Innocent blood is shed every day, seemingly without purpose. Hundreds of thousands have been killed for seemingly no reason. It is our responsibility to do our utmost to acquire the answers, to dig them up with our bare hands if we must.

“But that knowledge comes at a dear price, for since the war started, four and half years ago, an average of about one reporter and media assistant killed every week is something we have to live with.

“We live double lives. None of our friends or relatives know what we do. My children must lie about my profession. They cannot under any circumstance boast of my accomplishments, and neither can I. Every morning, as I leave my home, I look back with a heavy heart, for I may not see it again — today may be the day that the eyes of an enemy will see me for what I am, a journalist, rather than the appropriately bewildered elderly lady who goes to look after ailing parents, across the river every day. Not for a moment can I let down my guard.

“I smile as I give my children hugs and send them off to school; it’s only after they turn their backs to me that my eyes fill to overflowing with the knowledge that they are just as much at risk as I am.

“So why continue? Why not put down my proverbial pen and sit back? It’s because I’m tired of being branded a terrorist: tired that a human life lost in my county is no loss at all. This is not the future I envision for my children. They are not terrorists, and their lives are not valueless. I have pledged my life — and much, much more, in an effort to open a window through which the good people in the international community may look in and see us for what we are, ordinary human beings with ordinary aspirations, and not what we have been portrayed to be.

“Allow me, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to reach out. Help us to build bridges of understanding and acceptance. Even though the war has cast a dark shadow upon your nation and mine — it is never too late.”

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Bush likes to spend $$$

Gotta love the fiscal spending party:

The Unthinking Majority

Serj Tankian, lead singer of System of a Down, is out with another amazing album. This one is a solo project. Here are the lyrics to The Unthinking Majority. Be sure to watch the video.

We don't need your democracy.
Execute them kindly for me.
Take them by their filthy nostrils
Put them up in doggy hostels.

We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority

We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority

I believe that you're wrong
Insinuating that they hold the bomb
Clearing the way for the oil brigade (x2)

I believe that you're wrong
Insinuating that they hold the bomb
Clearing the way for the oil brigade (x2)


Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

Controlling tools of your system
Making life more tolerable (x2)

I believe that you're wrong
Insinuating that they hold the bomb
Clearing the way for the oil brigade (x2)

We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority

We don't need your democracy.
Execute them kindly for me.
Take them by their filthy nostrils
Put them up in doggy hostels.

(We don't need your hypocrisy
Execute real democracy.
Post-industrial society
The unthinking majority) x2

I believe that you're wrong
Insinuating that they hold the bomb

Monday, October 22, 2007

U.S. air strike kills 49 in Sadr City

Press photographs showed the bodies of two toddlers, one with a gouged face, swaddled in blankets on the floor of a morgue after relatives said they were killed when helicopter gunfire hit their house as they slept.

This week on Your Call Radio

Your Call airs from 10:00-11:00 am PST on 91.7 FM. You can also listen online or download the podcast.

Monday, 10/22 - A month after the uprising in Burma, what's the status of the global call for democracy? How are China and India responding?

Tuesday, 10/23 - A conversation with Robert Jensen, associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, and author of "Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity"

Book description: Pornography is big business, a thriving multi-billion dollar industry so powerful it drives the direction of much media technology. It also makes for complicated politics. Anti-pornography arguments are frequently dismissed as patently “anti-sex”—and ultimately "anti-feminist"—silencing at the gate a critical discussion of pornography's relationship to violence against women and even what it means to be a "real man."
In his most personal and difficult book to date, Robert Jensen launches a powerful critique of mainstream pornography that promises to reignite one of the fiercest debates in contemporary feminism. At once alarming and thought-provoking, Getting Off asks tough but crucial questions about pornography, manhood, and paths toward genuine social justice.

Wednesday, 10/24 - On the Record: What is Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee's voting record? What did he do as governor of Arkansas? And where is he getting his money?

Thursday, 10/25 - A conversation with the Mad Cowboy Howard Lyman! Howard is a 4th generation Montana cowboy who travels the country advocating a vegan diet. He also lobbies Congress for better food safety policies. Read about his incredible story here.

Friday, 10/26 - Media Roundtable: How did the media cover the week's top stories?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Support the troops

Katal Yancy waits with his wife Dominique and their daughter Zaria in Fort Stewart, Ga. He is one of more than 48,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who've sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder as of July 2007. By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
The number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder from the Department of Veterans Affairs jumped by nearly 20,000 — almost 70% — in the 12 months ending June 30, VA records show.
More than 100,000 combat veterans sought help for mental illness since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001, about one in seven of those who have left active duty since then, according to VA records collected through June. Almost half of those were PTSD cases.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Photos of Iraq's Brutally Wounded

From AlterNet:
As Americans scramble for funding to try to help the many wounded veterans returning from war, many more thousands in Iraq have suffered equally horrific injuries, yet have virtually no way of receiving care.

My soul can't stand it.
I can't sleep because my mind is broken.

I had marriage on my mind before the accident.
Her name is Athra and I haven't forgotten her.

She came to visit me twice, but the distance is far.

I want to walk so that I can get married.

-Muaad Ibnayan Hadi

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A day in the life of women around the globe

An Afghan girl tries to fly a kite on a hill to mark anti-poverty day in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. Hundrends of Afghan men and women took part in kite flying on the hill of Kabul, where the plan was to call on the Afghan government for more transparency in how foreign aids is spent and to focus on job creation to end poverty. 'death to poverty' is written on the. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

An Iraqi girl waits with other women for humanitarian aid to be distributed by U.S and Iraqi army, for the poor people in Hillah, about 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/ Ahmed Alhussainey)

An Iraqi woman tears next to her injured husband in hospital in Diwaniyah, 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Monday, Oct. 15, 2007. The injured man is one of seventeen wounded civilians after suspected Shiite militiamen fired mortars at two military bases and shot at a Polish helicopter south of Baghdad, prompting clashes Monday in fighting that left as many as five died Iraqi civilians, including two children,officials said. (AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)

A woman carries her son during a protest in Gaza calling for the reopening of Gaza crossings October 17, 2007. Since Hamas' takeover in June, Gaza's main border crossings have largely been closed, including the Rafah crossing with Egypt, drawing criticism from some aid groups. REUTERS/Ismail Zaydah (GAZA)

An Afghan woman begs on a walking bridge as people across the world joined an international campaign to end global poverty on World Poverty Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Musadeq Sadeq)

A woman washes her pots in a street outside her shanty on World Poverty Day in a Cairo slum October 17, 2007. The proportion of Egyptians living in absolute poverty has risen despite relatively rapid rates of economic growth this decade, the head of the United Nations operations in Egypt said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Nasser Nuri (EGYPT)

A Palestinian woman reacts in front of a house destroyed by Israeli troops in the southern Gaza Strip October 17, 2007. An Israeli soldier and a Palestinian militant were killed on Wednesday during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Iraq Vets returns their medals

“I’m returning my National Defense Medal because I truly believe that I did not help defend my nation and I’m returning my Global War on Terrorism Medal because I do not believe that I helped defeat terrorism in Iraq. As an American and a soldier I ask for your loyalty to the true needs of the brave men and women serving our country while suffering countless injustices due to greed, corruption and incompetence."
-Josh Gaines, Iraq War veteran, received the medals for the year long tour of duty he served while a member of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Watch the video of another vet returning his medals to a Congressman in Kansas.

Monday, October 15, 2007

This week on Your Call Radio

Your Call airs from 10:00-11:00 am PST on 91.7 FM. You can also listen online or download the podcast.

Monday, 10/15 - Earlier this month, the Palo Alto Police Department became the latest force to arm its officers with tasers. When are tasers appropriate? What about the use of tasers by individuals? You can even buy them in pink.
Guests: Raj Jayadev, editor of Silicon Valley Debug, and Sergeant Natasha Powers, Palo Alto PD

Tuesday, 10/16 - It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Are the pink ribbon campaigns making any difference? Where does all of that pink ribbon money go? Have there been any significant developments over the past decade? What are the most effective ways to fight breast cancer?
Guest so far: Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action

Wednesday, 10/17 - The Arab Film Festival kicks off on the 18th in SF. We'll have a conversation with a few of the filmmakers who are in town.

Thursday, 10/18 - A conversation with Vandana Shiva, environmental activist from India - author of "Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace"

Friday, 10/19 - Media Roundtable: How did the media cover the week's top stories?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

For the Bible Tells Me So

Watch the trailer:
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining documentary, For The Bible Tells Me So, brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible.

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt, Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson, and the Reitan Family -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg, Soulforce's Mel White, and Reverend Jimmy Creech, For The Bible Tells Me So offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity. Much of the footage was taken from the Soulforce direct action outside Focus on the Family in May, 2005.

Morgan Stanley settles $46 million sex discrimination suit

More often than not, large Wall Street firms settle sex discrimination suits rather than fight them because they don't want the negative publicity. It's safe to assume that when a corporation settles a sex discrimination suit for a whopping $46 million, the allegations are true:
A federal judge this week approved a $46 million settlement of a class- action lawsuit filed by a group of women alleging gender discrimination by their employer, investment bank Morgan Stanley.

The settlement was reached in April and received preliminary approval from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Roberts in July. Roberts will formally approve the settlement Oct. 24 after individual members of the lawsuit have been notified, said James Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley.

Six women sued the securities firm last year, alleging that female financial advisers and trainees were discriminated against.

The women claimed they were discriminated against in compensation, promotion, work assignments and other areas of their work with the fortune 500 company.

Although it originally started with six women, the lawsuit was quickly expanded to cover a class of about 3,000 women who worked at Morgan Stanley between Aug. 5, 2003, and June 30, 2007.

As part of the settlement, Wiggins said that the company will have to institute programs "designed to advance the success of women financial advisers at Morgan Stanley."

The $46 million will be split among parties to the lawsuit and to pay attorneys' fees. Morgan Stanley also will spend about $7.5 million on training and other diversity programs.

WWII Vets protest administration's torture methods

Several of the veterans, all men in their 80s and 90s, denounced the controversial techniques. And when the time came for them to accept honors from the Army's Freedom Team Salute, one veteran refused, citing his opposition to the war in Iraq and procedures that have been used at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"I feel like the military is using us to say, 'We did spooky stuff then, so it's okay to do it now,' " said Arno Mayer, 81, a professor of European history at Princeton University.

When Peter Weiss, 82, went up to receive his award, he commandeered the microphone and gave his piece.

"I am deeply honored to be here, but I want to make it clear that my presence here is not in support of the current war," said Weiss, chairman of the Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy and a human rights and trademark lawyer in New York City.

Ping-pong is more effective than waterboarding

From the Washington Post:
The group of World War II veterans kept a military code and the decorum of their generation, telling virtually no one of their top-secret work interrogating Nazi prisoners of war at Fort Hunt.

When about two dozen veterans got together yesterday for the first time since the 1940s, many of the proud men lamented the chasm between the way they conducted interrogations during the war and the harsh measures used today in questioning terrorism suspects.

Back then, they and their commanders wrestled with the morality of bugging prisoners' cells with listening devices. They felt bad about censoring letters. They took prisoners out for steak dinners to soften them up. They played games with them.

"We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture," said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler's deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Raw food: Before and after photos


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Top commander blasts Bush's failed Iraq strategy

"There has been a glaring, unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership within our national leaders."

"America continues its desperate struggle in Iraq without any concerted effort to devise a strategy that will achieve 'victory' in that war-torn country or in the greater conflict against extremism."

Without mentioning President George W. Bush by name, he called the president's troop-escalation "surge" strategy a "desperate attempt by an administration that has not accepted the political and economic realities of this war."

"There is no question America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," he said.

-Former General Ricardo Sanchez commanded U.S. troops in Iraq from June 2003 until July 2004 as the resistance took hold. He retired in 2006 and blamed the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal for wrecking his career.

IRS Report: Gap between rich and poor continues to widen

Politicians and those who've "made it" love saying that people who work hard will reap the benefits of capitalism, thereby implying that those at the bottom aren't working hard enough. This is Capitalist America:
The richest one percent of Americans earned a postwar record of 21.2 percent of all income in 2005, up from 19 percent a year earlier, reflecting a widening income disparity among different classes in the nation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing new Internal Revenue Service data.

The data showed that the fortunes of the bottom 50 percent of Americans are worsening, with that group earning 12.8 percent of all income in 2005, down from 13.4 percent the year before, the paper said.

US maternal death rate higher than Europe's

From Reuters:
The United States has a sharply higher rate of women dying during or just after pregnancy than European countries, even some relatively poor countries such as Macedonia and Bosnia, according to the first estimates in five years on maternal deaths worldwide.

The report released by various United Nations agencies and the World Bank on Friday shows that Ireland has the lowest rate of deaths, while several African countries have the worst.

The United States has a far higher death rate than the European average, the report shows, with one in 4,800 U.S. women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth, the same as Belarus and just slightly better than Serbia's rate of one in 4,500.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Christopher Columbus

From his log (after meeting the Arawak Indians):
"They were well built, with good bodies and handsome features...They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane. They would make fine servants. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."
Check out a clip from The Canary Effect and see how a few TV news shows cover this very special day...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

This week on Your Call Radio

Your Call airs from 10:00-11:00 am PST on 91.7 FM. You can also listen online or download the podcast.

Monday, 10/8 - A conversation with film critic Kenneth Turan, author of "Now in Theaters Everywhere: A Celebration of a Certain Kind of Blockbuster"

Tuesday, 10/9 - Over 35 million Americans will go to bed hungry tonight. Will the 2007 Farm Bill include improvements to food stamp and nutrition programs?

Wednesday, 10/10 - A conversation with Stephen Walt, co-author of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"

Thursday, 10/11 - Six years after the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan, we'll find out what's happening in that country. According to the UN, 550 Afghans are killed every month -- the violence is worse than ever.

Friday, 10/12 - Media Roundtable: How did the media cover the week's top stories?

Happy Indigenous People's Day

American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Russell Means addresses the crowd from the steps of the Colorado State Capitol on Saturday morning Oct. 6, 2007. Means was participating in AIM's protest of Denver's Columbus Day Parade. (AP Photo/Peter M. Fredin)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This week on Your Call Radio

Here's what's coming up this week on my radio show.

The show airs from 10:00-11:00 am PST on 91.7 FM.

Monday, 10/1 - Burma's past and present
Guests: Michael Aung-Thwin, professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, and Kyi May Kaung, a Washington DC-based writer and analyst

Tuesday, 10/2 - What's the status of Iraq's four million refugees?
We'll speak with two activists who recently returned from Syria and Jordan

Wednesday, 10/3 - On the Record: Presidential hopeful Bill Richardson - What's his voting record and where is he getting his money?

Thursday, 10/4 - A conversation with John Bowe, author of Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy"

Friday, 10/5 - Media Roundtable: How did the media cover the week's top stories?